2022 – Year in review
We are excited to cap off 2022 with the release of our latest Parenting Today in Victoria (PTiV) research data. Earlier this year, we surveyed 2600 Victorian parents to gain insight into the concerns, needs and behaviours of parents. The result is a wealth of valuable data which will be used to inform policy and practice in the family services sector.
So, how are parents doing?
The 2022 PTiV survey revealed that parents are feeling under pressure and that they struggle to take care of their wellbeing.
- Between 2016 and 2022, the number of parents reporting very high psychological distress increased from 4% to 7%, and nearly half are experiencing at least moderate psychological distress
- 3 in 5 parents don’t do anything to relax and re-energise
- 2 in 3 feel they don’t get enough sleep – on average, parents estimated they achieved less than seven hours of sleep each night
- 2 in 5 feel tiredness gets in the way of being the kind of parent they want to be.
However, 84% report they are confident in their parenting, and 90% said they find parenting rewarding.
We’re now analysing how this data can inform the work we, and all of us in the sector, do. During 2023 we’ll take the key findings and produce a range of evidence-based resources for policy-makers, researchers, service providers and funders. We will also reach out to parents through the media and other channels with suggestions on how to build their resilience.
Reflecting on a busy 2022
This year we navigated living ‘COVID normal’ lives, which allowed us to get back out to conferences, events and in-person training.
We continued to see value in the technology we used so much during lockdowns and restrictions, including further exploring the value of telepractice in the family services sector through our involvement in the NGO Telepractice Venture.
We were encouraged by federal and state government investment in parenting support. Much of this new investment has been focused on strengthening digital parenting support, an area we have a strong ongoing interest in through our involvement in the Raising Children Network. Through the PTiV survey, we learnt about parent preference regarding digital vs face-to-face support. These insights, and how they can inform policy and parenting program delivery, will be shared in the new year.
We have also remained engaged in the issue of how to best achieve evidence-based practice in real-world settings through our Practiceworks service.
The universal language of parenting
Another important development this year was the establishment of the Parenting and Family Research Alliance (PAFRA). This alliance brings together international family and parenting researchers to advocate for evidence-based parenting support and address common issues of interest.
The first PAFRA Congress will be in June 2023, and will bring together researchers, policymakers, practitioners, consumers and service providers in the parenting support community. Registrations to attend the online event in June 2023 open soon.
- We presented on our research into parent help-seeking, evaluation of a pilot program for mental health screening and referral for perinatal fathers as well as our telepractice resources at the NSW Brighter Beginnings Summit in New South Wales last month. You can view the recordings of the presentations if you missed this event.
- We joined with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice to present a webinar detailing the latest child protection and out-of-home care research. Watch the recording.
- Our suite of published research and articles also included topics on fathers support seeking, bullying, parenting self-efficacy, and parenting teens. See the full list of publications.
Our Director Annette Michaux has been re-appointed to the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing Steering Group. In this role, Annette will contribute to implementing Safe and Supported, the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021–2031.
We are thrilled to congratulate one of Raising Children Network’s founders Prof Frank Oberklaid on being awarded Victoria’s Senior Australian of the Year 2023 for his internationally-recognised career in children’s health and development.
As we head towards the end of 2022, we would like to wish all of our supporters, stakeholders, partners and staff members a happy and safe festive season and look forward to continuing to support parents in order for children to thrive in the new year.
CEO, Parenting Research Centre